Author: Lorraine Boshell

The High Kings Announce “The Home From Home Tour”

Following the release of their latest record ‘Home from Home’, The High Kings are delighted to announce they will be back performing from December this year to February 2022.

‘Home from Home’ was recorded live at Concert Deck in Dublin and is a journey through classic folk songs, old and new. According to Brian Dunphy, “this album is our effort to bring us all together until a time when we can meet in person again.

Speaking about going out on tour, the band said: “We are absolutely delighted and to finally have the opportunity to get back on tour around Ireland.  It’s been a surreal time in all of our lives, and I can promise you The High Kings are ready to bring the good times back again.

​​The High Kings are Finbarr Clancy, Darren Holden, Brian Dunphy and newest member Paul O’Brien. 

Formed in June 2007, The High Kings play 13 instruments between them, creating the unique sound that thrills audiences all over the world.

Their self-titled debut album, released in 2008, reached number 2 on the Billboard World Music chart, setting the stage for the success they’ve enjoyed stateside ever since.

The group have released four studio albums to date, two live albums, two live DVDs and a ‘Greatest Hits’ collection. Their first three studio albums appeared at number 3 or higher on the Billboard World Music chart.

Since the inception of the band, The High Kings have toured Ireland, the United States and Europe almost annually. Performing mostly traditional Irish songs, they are known to sing arrangements from other genres from time to time and have earned a legion of loyal fans.

Their career has seen many highlights: in 2012 they performed for President Obama during his visit to Ireland. This led to a personal invitation from the President to perform at the 2012 White House St. Patrick’s Day celebration. They flew directly from London where they had already been the headline act for the Lord Mayor of London’s St. Patrick’s Day concert. In 2015 The High Kings were invited to the Pentagon as guests of General Martin Dempsey, then Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff. They performed alongside the US Marine Corps band marking another special occasion for the band.

2021 saw the release of ‘Home from Home’, their brand-new 11 track album. Recorded live at Concert Deck in Dublin, ‘Home from Home is a journey through classic folk songs, old and new.

FULL TOUR DATES

Dec 4 2021 | Martime Hotel, Bantry

Dec 5 2021 | Sea Church, Ballycotton

Dec 12 2021 | I.N.E.C., Killarney

Dec 19 2021 | An Grianan, Letterkenny

Dec 27 2021  | Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan

Dec 28 2021  | Fairways Hotel, Dundalk

Jan 2 2022 | Royal Theatre, Castlebar

Jan 8 2022 | National Opera House, Wexford

Jan 14 2022 | Sligo Park Hotel

Jan 15 2022 | Millennium Forum, Derry

Jan 16 2022 | Ulster Hall, Belfast

Jan 21 2022 | Tullamore Court Hotel

Jan 22 2022 | Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule

Jan 23 2022 | Vicar St, Dublin

Jan 27 2022 | Opera House, Cork

Jan 29 2022 | Radisson Hotel, Athlone

Jan 30 2022 | UCH, Limerick

Feb 4 2022 | TL Theatre, Drogheda

Feb 5 2022 | Leisureland, Galway

Feb 6 2022 | Kilmore Hotel, Cavan

Tickets available from venue box offices and Ticketmaster

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New Music from Gorgeous Wrecks ‘Army Of Regret’

Following on from the success of their 2nd single ‘Strong Suit’ – led in no small part by the brilliantly surreal video featuring the man with an orange for a head – the anonymous duo Gorgeous Wrecks release their 3rd single ‘Army Of Regret’ on September 24thThe last release before their debut album ‘Gentle Art Of Persuasion arrives in stores on October 22nd, ‘Army Of Regret’ is a head-bopping piece of acoustic driven synth pop, laden rock undertones and carried by the unique vocal talents of their (still) unnamed singer.

Described by one critic as a cross between The Blue Nile and The Jesus and Mary Chain, Gorgeous Wrecks formed in 2019; the duo combining their collective vision for a musical project that combined electronic atmospherics, a selection of vintage drum machines, a guitar, and one very unique voice. Soon after, they decamped to a studio in North Dublin with renowned Irish producer Ger McDonnell (U2, The Cure, Kasabian, Martha Wainwright), where, inspired by artists such as The Notwist, Portishead, PJ Harvey, Metronomy, TV on the Radio and New Order, they wrote and recorded their debut album ‘Gentle Art of Persuasion’.

M(h)aol announces a headline show for The Workman’s Club

Singular Artists are proud to announce a headline show from M(h)aol, performing live at The Workman’s Club, Friday 12th November 2021. Tickets will be available to purchase from singularartists.ie now. 

M(h)aol are Irish intersectional feminist post-punk band from Dublin and Cork. Made up of Róisín Nic Ghearailt on vocals, Constance Keane on drums, Jamie Hyland on bass, Zoe Greenway on bass, and Sean Nolan on guitar, M(h)aol create urgent and immersive sounds that question our past, present, and future. 

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New Sarah McQuaid Album The St Buryan Sessions Due In October

Born out of the pandemic and due for release on October 15, ‘The St Buryan Sessions will be the sixth solo album by award-winning multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid, and is her most powerful and emotive offering yet.

A six-week, 21-date UK tour marks the album’s launch, and Sarah’s 2022 tour plans include the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and USA.

I can’t wait to get back out on the road again,” Sarah enthuses. “Obviously I’m nervous about COVID, but I desperately miss performing to live audiences. The few gigs that I’ve managed to do this summer have been so, so lovely – every time I do a gig, it just brings home how much I’ve missed it.”

‘The St Buryan Sessions’ had its genesis in the spring of 2020, when Sarah’s gigs and tours were cancelled due to COVID-19. Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, she was able to finance a live solo recording (sans audience) in the lovely medieval church of St Buryan, not far from her home in rural West Cornwall.

Conceived as a concert set and including such fan favourites as ‘In Derby Cathedral’, ‘The Sun Goes On Rising’ and ‘Yellowstone’, the album is a journey not only through a wide range of instrumentation and styles, but also through the spectrum of emotions that Sarah evokes in her performance and invokes in the listener.

Sensitively captured by her longtime sound engineer and manager, Martin Stansbury, with the aid of ambient microphones placed throughout the church, the sound of Sarah’s voice and music soars through the stunning acoustic space as she moves between acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar and floor tom drum, performing songs that span her 24-year career – from ‘Charlie’s Gone Home’, originally recorded on her 1997 debut album ‘When Two Lovers Meet, to electric guitar based pieces from her most recent studio album ‘If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous’.

Two previously unrecorded covers feature on the album: the classic jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves’, on which she demonstrates the full dynamic range of her lush, distinctive voice, and a cover of ‘Rabbit Hills’, written by her dear friend (and past producer), the late Michael Chapman.

This second piece was commissioned by Michael’s wife Andru as a gift for his 80th birthday and sees Sarah at the beautiful grand piano that resides in the church, her compelling, heartfelt delivery revealing the depth of her immersion in the rich imagery of Chapman’s evocative lyrics.

I was absolutely devastated by the news that Michael has left this world,” says Sarah. “He was a real musical mentor to me. I wouldn’t have ever started playing electric guitar if he hadn’t handed me his Ibanez Artist and said ‘Play this.’ My heart goes out to Andru – she and Michael have both been such good friends to me. I can’t express how sad it makes me to know that I won’t see him again.

The recording was filmed by Cornish filmmaker and director Mawgan Lewis of Purple Knif with the aid of Eden Sessions veteran camera operator John Crooks. The fruits of their work can be seen on Sarah’s YouTube channel – https://youtube.com/sarahmcquaid — where Lewis’ 9-minute documentary “The Making Of The St Buryan Sessions”, featuring interviews and song snippets, can also be viewed, along with a 59-second promo video about the album and tour.

‘The St Buryan Sessions’ is now available to pre-order via https://sarahmcquaid.bandcamp.com on CD and limited-edition blue vinyl double LP, together with T-shirts, tea towels, tote bags, ultra-limited-edition test pressings, and the full concert film on a 16GB engraved wooden USB stick, all bearing Sarah’s original artwork.

See https://sarahmcquaid.com/tour for details of all shows including addresses, start times etc.

sarahmcquaid.com

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Photo by Phil Nicholls (philnicholls.co.uk)

A Ritual Sea Tee Up Debut Album with Latest Single

Dublin-based dreamwave band, A Ritual Sea, release new single ‘Radiate’ on 3rd September 2021, through French independent label Icy Cold Records, in advance of their debut album release.

Following the success of recent single ‘Because You Hate to Care About’, ‘Radiate’ is a beautiful wash of melancholic dreamwave, with reverb-soaked vocals and the band’s signature layering of shimmering shoegaze guitars and synth. The song explores the breakdown of a friendship, and the push and pull of trying to keep it alive.

Formed in 2016, the band’s distinctive sound is heavily influenced by the esoteric imagery of Andrei Tarkovsky, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Robert Altman and Ingmar Bergman. Having featured at the renowned Other Voices Festival in 2018 and supported international acts such as Gwenno and Jane Weaver, the band played a sold-out headline show in Dublin’s Whelans venue in early 2020.

Donna McCabe, singer and songwriter, explains the song came about following the breakdown of a friendship: “We went through a painful period of trying to keep an eye on someone that was in a really bad place, but respect their need to isolate themselves. Having lost friends to suicide, you know that no matter how far they distance themselves, you need to stay connected, to keep an eye. The song channels that invisible link. The pain on both sides is so visceral, that sometimes you have to learn to let go. The ending soars into something hopeful, reaching out to try to manifest a different, more joyful reality.”

‘Radiate’ precedes the band’s highly anticipated, self-titled debut album due out on 24th September 2021. Self-produced and recorded at A Ritual Sea’s home studio, mixed by Paris-based musician and sound engineer Nicolas Subréchicot (Vagabond, Lou Doillon) and mastered at Biduloscope, it will be released through French independent label Icy Cold Records.

Aoife Doyle Shares New Song ‘Strength To Be Strong’

Irish singer songwriter Aoife Doyle releases ‘Strength To Be Strong’, the first single from her upcoming album on 3rd September. The song is a groovy, soulful mix of gospel, jazz and roots, with stomping brass arrangements.

“’Strength To Be Strong’ is about having to dig deep to find the strength to stay strong in the face of ongoing adversity. To release this song as the first single off the album felt like an appropriate choice, given the world events of the last 18 months.”

Aoife Doyle is originally from Bray, Co. Wicklow, and has been living in Liscannor, Co. Clare since 2014. She grew up in a house steeped in traditional and folk music, and completed a BA in jazz performance at the prestigious Newpark Music Centre, and an MA in Songwriting at the World Academy of Music and Dance in UL in 2018/2019.

She cites a wide and varied range of musical influences including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Alison Krauss and Eva Cassidy, as well as Marvin Gaye, Tammy Tyrell, Joni Mitchell, Beyoncé, Declan O’Rourke, Ger Wolfe and Bjork, and echoes of this intriguing mix come through to various extents on different tracks on the album.

When it came to writing this album, I was trying to push myself creatively. The writing itself is quite instinctive, so there wasn’t an overall plan to step away from jazz, it just sort of came out that way. My first two albums have elements of folk, soul and blues so I guess a step further in that direction isn’t all that surprising.”

‘Strength To Be Strong’ was produced by the highly-regarded musician, arranger and producer Michael Buckley, as was the album, “one of my best musical decisions.” Doyle is joined by a stellar band on the track, featuring some of Ireland’s most in-demand musicians including pianist Johnny Taylor, guitarist/singer Jack Maher, trumpet player Ronan Dooney, vocalist Margot Daly, saxophonist Michael Buckley, bassist Andrew Csibi and drummer Dominic Mullan.

‘Strength To Be Strong’ will be released on 3rd September, and will be available on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and on Aoife’s website www.aoifedoyle.com

‘Strength To Be Strong’ was recorded and filmed at House of Horns studio in Dublin.

aoifedoyle.com  Instagram   Spotify  Facebook  AppleMusic  Twitter   SoundCloud  YouTube   Bandcamp 

Cat Dowling Signs to FIFA Records and Reveals New Video ‘Freedom’

Dublin-based Kilkenny-born indie pop artist Cat Dowling has signed to Ireland’s Forever In Financial Arrears Records or FIFA Records, as it is more commonly known. She will release her next album in autumn via the steadily expanding label, who have continuously worked with exciting new Irish talent (Fight Like Apes, One Morning in August, Klubber Lang, Hope is Noise, Dae Kim, Lorraine Nash), as well as releasing material from more established names on the Irish indie scene, such as The Frank & Walters, Emperor of Ice Cream, August Wells, Power of Dreams and Whipping Boy.

Lauded as one of the most wonderful and evocative vocalists in Irish contemporary music, Cat Dowling’s beautifully dark pop songs and those husky and achingly intimate vocals will grip you from the outset. The former Babelfish and Alphastates frontwoman creates well-crafted songs that inspire.

Dowling also presents the video for her lush slice of soulful pop perfection, ‘Freedom’, created by film-maker Alba Lahoz. When restrictions momentarily lifted in Ireland, Cat’s three free-spirited tearaway children do their thing, showing that Freedom is a space inside us that can never be tamed.

“Sometimes we think big. Sometimes we think small. Sometimes we think with all we have got. When we have limited access to other humans, the humans closest to us are the most important humans of all,” says Cat Dowling.

This video was filmed on a bitingly-cold December afternoon when light was sparse, winds howled and the skies randomly opened.  We managed to find the sun, fell in love with the wind and forgot about the camera. It was mainly filmed on Donabate beach and Dollymount Strand in Dublin. ‘Freedom’ is best explained and expressed in childhood when there are no limitations, everything is possible and we are free to be truly ourselves.

Produced by Gerry Horan with Dowling as co-producer, and mixed by Ger McDonnell (The Cure, U2, Van Morrison, Martha Wainwright, Shane McGowan, Sinead O’Connor), Dowling’s latest output was partially recorded at Crossroads Studio in Kilkenny with support from Ireland’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.

Earlier this year, Dowling released the first single ‘Trouble’, making quite a big splash in her homeland, with a fantastic video by BAFTA award-winning director Fergal Costello. Based on a black comedy concept, it was filmed in winter in the Wicklow mountains, telling the story of a dark, comedic and violent tale that takes place outside of Belfast in 1981.

In 2013, Dowling debuted with ‘The Believer’ LP, ranked in numerous ‘Best of Year’ music polls, including The Sunday Times. The title track featured in the second series of ‘Banshee’, produced by Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, True Blood) and the ‘Witches of East End’ TV series, featuring Julia Ormond. The song ‘Somebody Else’ was also used in ‘My name is Emily’. Cat has also lent vocals on many collaborative projects, including for ABC’s ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ with Emmy-winning actress Viola Davis.

‘Freedom’ is out now, available everywhere digitally. Fans can expect Cat Dowling’s next long-player to be released in November of this year.

Debut EP Release from Irish Indie-Popsters modernlove

Like their name suggests, Irish four-piece modernlove. explore the complexities of the modern lives of twenty-somethings. Even though their lives are still complicated, Barry, Cian, Danny and Graham have already nailed their sound; they deliver polished, indie-pop with a glossy ’90s sheen and intricate details.

Today (September 3rd), they releases their debut EP, ‘monochrome blue’ on Akira Records (Henry Green, Zola Blood, Shura, CHINAH). The 6-track project holds a special place in the hearts of the twenty-somethings from Drogheda, who began writing some of the songs when they were just 16. The EP is a record of their formative years, tumultuous and lovelorn at times, disappointing and unexpected at others.

“‘monochrome blue’ is an honest representation of our teenage years.,” modernlove. share. “It explores the negatives and the positives of the naive, and at times overly indulgent, endeavours of our youth and our emotional response to them.”

The lead EP’s focus track, ‘2 Missed Calls’, is a feel-good, danceable pop song with dark lyrical undertones. It details a guilt-laden love triangle across jangling guitar riffs, spacey synths, and mid-tempo drum rhythms. The accompanying music video visualizes such a scenario at a neon-lit party, where a drunken promenade of regret ultimately meets a happy ending.

The band reveals about the writing process,

“‘2 Missed Calls’ was at first intended to be a more straight up upbeat, feel good love song. As it developed the narrative began to shift toward something less innocent and cheerful. A lot of what we write about is young love and the rush and the craziness that comes with it. We’ve all been through it and none of us really knows how to handle it… not sure if anyone does to be honest. We’re still trying to figure it out.”

‘come over x’ is a vulnerable declaration of devotion that builds through sweeping soundscapes and ethereal chords. The accompanying video follows the lyrics, depicting a budding secret romance, with dizzying ’90s visual effects drenched in purple hues.

‘lmk (if you wanna see me)’, which arrived with a music video and a BBC Introducing session. evokes a feeling of being simultaneously overwhelmed by life’s stressors and isolated from everyone. The accompanying video echoes the sense of detachment as the camera drifts in and out of focus on the lead singer sauntering then chasing something he’ll never reach.

Last year modernlove. released the first two EP singles, ‘Liquorice’, a twinkling disco romp, and ‘Bop’ which leans into their whimsical indie roots. The songs reflect the youthful vigor of their late nights in Dublin when they all started college. They note, “Nothing would stop us from prancing into the night. There is a blissful innocence to those songs that at times now feels slightly unfamiliar as we’ve grown as friends and artists.” As the band’s first-ever singles, they received excitingly strong playlist support, landing on NMF UK at Spotify, as well as Fresh Finds, Alt-Pop and The Pop List. The band also recently shared a music video for ‘Liquorice’; a colorful indie dance party with shifting glances.

‘I know it’s tearing you apart’, one of the first songs the band ever wrote, was initially written at nearly double the tempo. They opted to slow it down to appreciate the subtleties and find a groove within the complicated narrative of being used for sex after a breakup by your ex and being ok with it.

To celebrate the EP release, the band will be playing a Dublin headline show on November 6th in the Workman’s Club, as well as their first London show at The Social on November 12.

‘monochrome blue’ EP Tracklist:

Available on all DSPs

  1. 2 Missed Calls
  2. lmk (if you wanna see me)
  3. Liquorice
  4. I know it’s tearing you apart
  5. Bop
  6. come over x

TOUR DATES:

Nov 6 – Dublin, IRL – Workman’s Club

Nov 11 -London, ENG – The Social

MODERNLOVE. SOCIALS:

Spotify / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / TikTok

HousePlants Share New Video for ‘Window Pane’

HousePlants (Paul Noonan and Daithi) released their single ‘Window Paneat the end of July and now follow up with a video for it. Directed by Allyn Quigley

Starring Gemma-Leah Devereux (Smother, The Bright Side, Judy).

Their debut album, ‘Dry Goods’, will be out on 17th September.

The third single from the forthcoming album has the HousePlants creeping on their neighbours… “The everyday muffled noises we hear from our fellow humans living beside us tease us a little – a soundtrack to the mundane, the daily grind. Curtains, floorboards, hairdryers. People there alright, enough for the imagination to run with anyway.”

This follows on from the debut single ‘What’s With All The Pine?’ and ‘Companero’, which were released over the last few months.

For both artists, the project represents reclamation amidst a significantly difficult era for creative souls across Ireland and beyond. “Theres a community of music makers who mainly see each other at gigs and nights like the Choice Music Prize that feels somewhat atomised in the void of lockdown,they say. One of the nicer things about this time is that artists have been checking in on each other. It feels like lots of people are doing what we did.”

That sense of camaraderie and community is hard-wired into the music of HousePlants. A new tribe for modern times. All welcome.

‘Dry Goods Tracklist:

  1. What’s With All The Pine?
  2. Window Pane
  3. Companero
  4. No Stoppin Me
  5. Mannequin
  6. Ringing In My Ears
  7. Burning
  8. Reveller
  9. Wait!

Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5tnWhgpR0zucG8lhmd9HKn?si=eCIgZZiQQaODK-_oZHgr2w
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/houseplantsband/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/HousePlants_hi?s=09
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/WeAreHousePlants
Bandcamp:
https://wearehouseplants.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Silverbacks Share New Single ‘Wear My Medals’ and Announce Signing to Full Time Hobby

Dublin art-rock quintet Silverbacks are today sharing a brand-new single, ‘Wear My Medals’, along with the news that they have signed to Full Time Hobby. ‘Wear My Medals’ is the first new material from the band since the release of last year’s acclaimed – and Choice Music Prize-nominated – debut album ‘Fad’. ‘Hear Wear My Medals’ here.

“From the very start, we’ve always wanted to be a ‘career band’. We don’t see the point in not constantly making music – if you’re lucky enough to be able to make music you like and enjoy it, why put restrictions on it?” says Kilian O’Kelly, one of the three guitarists in Silverbacks. After the release and acclaim provided to their debut record ‘Fad’ in 2020, it would have been understandable for the band to take a step back, and take stock of their achievements thus far. Not so – writing sessions began early in 2020 for what they hope to be the follow-up. Guitarist and vocalist Daniel O’Kelly began sending files back and forth from his new base in Paris while the others – Kilian, bassist and vocalist Emma Hanlon, guitarist Peadar Kearney and drummer Gary Wickham – remained in Ireland. They spent their downtime from live commitments refining and shaping their ideas, taking to the studio when they could with producer Daniel Fox (Girl Band) to try and push themselves and their music forward.

Latest single ‘Wear My Medals’ – and first for new label Full Time Hobby – gives an indication of where they’re headed. Fizzing with energy and excitement, the band career through the track with their joy ripping out of the speakers, topped by a stunning vocal turn by Emma Hanlon. “We always set out while demoing to write ‘Emma Songs’ – songs that we think will specifically work for Emma’s vocals,” says Daniel O’Kelly. “We were quite a ways through the latest batch before we realised we hadn’t gotten any Emma Songs down so she and Kilian got to work.” Riffs on endurance athletes and their dietary peccadilloes, wrestling heels and control, it’s at turns brash and soothing, screed and lullaby. The characteristic guitar interplay remains from previous works but there’s a newfound tautness to the lines, focussed and locked with a thunderous performance from the rhythm section.

Lauren Gregory, director of the song’s video, shared some insight into what inspired the artistic direction she took: “The band gave me complete creative license, so I really got to let my imagination run wild.  For the swimming scenes, I took inspiration from the movie “A Philadelphia Story”, a scene in which Katherine Hepburn is swimming and climbing out of a pool. When I was working on the boxing scenes, I watched a lot of footage of Muhammed Ali warming up before fights, jumping and punching the air, and tried to emulate his movements. Out of everything, sculpting the hands playing bar chords on the guitar was the most fun.”

How do the band think the people who reacted so well to their previous record will feel about this move forward? “We don’t really know – people say we’re post-punk, but we aren’t really. Some people say we’re an indie band, but we aren’t that either. I don’t know, sometimes it’s more fun just to see what comes out when we write and let everyone else worry about what it is.” says Kilian with a grin. Happy in their own world of writing, recording, refining, release and repeat, Silverbacks live for their work, allowing their creative impulses to dictate where the songs go next. It’s going to be an interesting journey.

Listen to ‘Wear My Medals’ on DSPs here.

The band play Manchester Psych Festival this weekend and head back out on the road in October:

4th Sept – UK, Manchester Psych Festival
21st Oct – IE, Limerick, Kasbah Social Club
22nd Oct – IE, Dublin, The Grand Social
24th Oct – UK, Birmingham, The Hare & Hounds
25th Oct – UK, Glasgow, Hug & Pint
27th Oct – UK, Brighton, The Hope & Ruin
28th Oct – UK, London, The Victoria
29th Oct – UK, Southampton, Heartbreakers
30th Oct – UK, Bristol, The Crofters Rights

Silverbacks: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Apple | YouTube

Photo: Róisín Murphy O’Sullivan

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